CD writers use one or both of these media types:
CD-R discs record data permanently. Data written to a CD-R disc cannot subsequently be deleted, which may be an advantage or a drawback, depending on how you use the drive. If you partially fill a CD-R disc, you can add more data to it during a later session, but once that disc is full, no more data can be written to it. CD-R discs are cheap—$0.20 each in bulk, and sometimes almost free after rebates—and are a cost-effective means to archive data or to transfer large amounts of data to someone else. CD-R discs can be read in all but the oldest CD-ROM drives, and in most consumer CD players made in the last few years. CD-R discs may be written to in audio or various data formats, and can be read by any CD-R, CD-(M)RW, or MultiRead-compatible CD-ROM drive.
MultiRead and MultiRead2 are OSTA standards for CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives and players. A MultiRead-compatible device can read pressed CDs (CD-DA and CD-ROM), CD-R discs, and CD-RW discs, and can read any disc written using fixed- or variable-length packets. MultiRead2 extends the specification to include DVD-ROM and 2.6 GB DVD-RAM devices. All MultiRead-compatible devices are also multisession-compatible, but the converse is not true. For more information, see http://www.osta.org/specs/multiread.htm.
CD-RW discs allow data to be erased. In fact, CD-RW was originally designated CD-Erasable (CD-E), but marketing folks decided that “erasable” ...